3 Dec 2008 8:20 am   //   Filed under: Hard times, Media

Don’t panic

It seems December 2008 will be a month of layoffs, cutbacks and shutdowns in many industries. This sucks.

Hard times demand good information. Unfortunately, a downturn cultivates misinformation like a petri dish grows mold. There are two reasons for this. First, a tiny spark of panic will ignite a total breakdown of common sense. Desperate for direction, people will believe almost anything. (Aside: Now would be a great time to start a cult.) And second, the people who actually know what’s going on will get very quiet. Wouldn’t you? For the next few months, you’ll hear a lot of false reports in the news (or more likely, on blogs), and no voice of authority will speak up to knock them down.

My job is going to get harder, and so is that of every business journalist. Be careful about what you believe in the next few months as we all try to find our way out of this mess.